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San Juan Gossip Mills Outlet

A veritable fanatic of the Internet. His avocation is teaching while his main vocation is practicing the much maligned law profession. Currently teaching Constitutional Law at the FEU Institute of Law and a guest lecturer at the De La Salle University teaching "Freedom and Regulation in Cyberspace" in the Graduate Program of the Department of Communication. He is married to his beautiful Ateneo law school classmate and is blessed with a daughter and a son.

Location: San Juan, Metro Manila, Philippines

Tuesday, November 08, 2005

GMA's Rant And Wrath

Yesterday, the president issued her strongest criticism yet of media who continue to cast her and her government in a bad light, likening them to doomsayers and to that little chicken who kept insisting the sky is falling.

This is a rant by any definition.  If the president’s statements were opaque on her alleged illicit participation in the last presidential polls, her statements regarding media’s cynical attitude towards her and her government were transparently clear that she will no longer brook media’s protracted belligerent conduct.

Divide and conquer is what the president’s men will most likely do.  It is all too simple.  Take the case of the print media. You have the Philippine Daily Inquirer pitted against the Philippine Star. The president has obviously favored the latter and rewarded its publisher with the supreme compliment of interviewing her upon her arrival from New York.  

On the other hand, the Inquirer continues to pound the president especially its editorials and where its columnists with, perhaps the exception of 2 columnists, have no love lost for GMA.  While Malaya and Tribune continue to pester the president, its circulation is not massive enough to merit greater public attention.  This is quite unfortunate considering that they sometimes have scoops that even the Palace had occasionally denied.

In the case of broadcast media, the most likely plan is just to take advantage of the “take-no-prisoner” media war between GMA7 and ABS-CBN.  A head-on collision with media will not likely win points for her, as can be gauged by media’s reaction on the Julius Babao affair.  A proxy war or a low intensity conflict is a better and prudent approach to silencing the enemy.

The wrath of the president against the media is forthcoming especially after her rant.  She need not lift a finger to make life miserable for her enemies. Her knights will do it for her.  Her rant is but a signal for them to initiate cutting down media to size.

I am reminded of the story of Henry II of England in his rants against his nemesis, Thomas à Becket, the Archbishop of Canterbury. In anger and exasperation, he exclaimed: “Will no one rid me of this troublesome priest?” Immediately upon hearing his rant, four of his knights proceeded to murder the archbishop inside the Canterbury Cathedral.

Is a government conspiracy to wage war on the media underway? Looks like it, GMA has ranted, her wrath her men will grant.


Blogger Den Salvacion said...

On Julius Babao issue, it all rooted from a military intelligence report. So, what had transpired during the reason which was considered as a basis for linking Channel 2's well-known anchorman:

During the hearings on his petition for bail, which Babao attended, Dawud’s lawyer told the Quezon City regional trial court that his client could not afford to post the bail set at P200,000.

But after talking to Babao during a court recess, the lawyer, Nicomedes Martelino, said bail would be put up, said the report from the Intelligence Service of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (ISAFP).

It’s surprising why the lawyer would say that his client could already post bail after talking to the broadcaster when minutes earlier he said his client could not afford it.

That’s the basis of the ISAFP report that Babao put up bail for Dawud.

How come he was so protective of Dawud that he had him ride on an ABS-CBN van after his release from detention?

And how come, as the AFP intelligence chief Rear Adm. Tirso Danga said, Babao criticized the military for Dawud’s arrest?

A journalist should be objective when he’s covering a controversial case. He should not take sides.

When Babao posted bail for Dawud and had him ride on an ABS-CBN van, he was already taking the side of a person accused of terrorism.

The only charge that the government could come up with against Dawud was illegal possession of firearms and explosives because the country still doesn’t have an antiterrorism law or national security act like the ones they have in Malaysia and Singapore.

The explosives seized from Dawud, the military said, would have been used in bombing public places.

If Dawud Santos jumps bail -- and there’s a big chance he will -- Babao should be made to account for his becoming a fugitive from justice.

Babao should also be held responsible for innocent lives lost if Dawud goes on a bombing spree while in hiding.

Source: That story about Julius Babao
On Target : By Ramon Tulfo Philippine Daily Inquirer

4:14 PM  

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